how to stay motivated

I've been traveling so much lately for both fun and work which has been so amazing. Since I left my full time office job, one of the most liberating things is being able to live life on my terms. With that being said, I had an extremely generous paid time off plan at my corporate job but I could never find the "right time" to take off.

Last month I was able to take a few days off and take a road trip with my parents to Asheville, NC to visit family I have not seen in 3+ years. Not only was it so great to visit family, it was so amazing to spend quality time with my parents. The last time we took a true road trip together has been longer than I can even remember - college maybe? After our NC trip I was only home a couple days before heading to San Francisco (more to come shortly). Needless to say, when I came home my email accounts were out of control, my to do list was longer than 1-2 pages and I was feeling overwhelmed.

I'm not sure if you feel this way but when my inbox and/or apartment is chaotic, it's hard for me to concentrate on what needs to be done. Today I am sharing some helpful tips that always keep me motivated and productive, especially after vacation.

Unpack and Clean Up

I am notorious for leaving my clothes in my suitcase for days and taking out only the items I need. This usually adds to clutter around my house and will eventually drive me insane. When I come home from any trip or even an afternoon at the pool, I immediately unpack my bags and put everything away.

Even if you did not go out of town, make sure you start your Monday off with a clean kitchen, laundry is cleaned and folded (or tolerable) and everything is organized for a productive week.

Eating Healthy

If I start the week off with no food in the house and I am eating out on Monday, 9 times out of 10 my week is shot.  I know the rule is "start with the next meal" and I try so hard to adapt that mentality but usually if I eat out during lunch, I say "oh who cares, lets eat out for dinner." This starts a downward tailspin in unhealthy eating habits which usually makes you feel lazy and less motivated. I try to plan out our meals on Saturday so on Sunday I can tackle the grocery store and know what we will eat for the week.

Create Your Top 3

Every morning, I identify my top 3 tasks I have to accomplish that day. Examples are: organizing my inbox, admin work, call a client, follow up with someone, etc. Looking at only 3 tasks at a time is not overwhelming and completely manageable. I feel so good at the end of the day knowing at the minimum I finished those important tasks.

Streamline Your Lists

I am an avid to do list maker however I have been exploring other ways to streamline my life. As I've mentioned before, I have 5 email accounts (insane, I know) and trying to manage all of my appointments and tracking all of the hours I work on certain projects can be difficult. Finding ways to make your everyday tasks easier and limit the amount of decisions/chaos in your life will only help you be able to focus your time on making important decisions.

More to come on my favorite business resources.

Get Out

This can mean taking a walk outside, having drinks with friends or going to your parents/friends house. For those of you who work from home like I do, I find it's important for me to get out of the house and refocus on other aspects of my life that bring me joy. This helps with my overall mood and well-being and not feeling rundown with all the projects I'm trying to juggle.

CAREERBrittany Collier